OKC 126 - LAC 85

Yogi Berra once said "It ain't over till it's over", well thankfully for us it finally is over.  This has been a very very trying season for anyone with any ounce of emotional attachment to this "team".  I use the phrase "team" loosely as there has been only flashes of any real teamwork throughout the year which certainly played a major role in a team that failed to win 20 games for the year.  For those of you who have managed to stick around in our most disappointing season in recent memory (possibly ever) I commend you for your loyalty.

So tonight's game was very interesting.  Before tipoff we found out that the Wizards had lost to a Celtics team that played without their big three and were clearly resting their players for their playoff run.  This left Clipper Nation in a dilemma, a win would dampen our chances of obtaining the one no-brainer pick in the upcoming draft while a loss would prevent us from reaching the pathetically low-standard 20 win season.  Without question a loss would be more beneficial to our team in the long-term but isn't the essence of sports to compete on any given night no matter the stakes?  Karma, professional responsibility a myriad of things would suggest we should play the game as if it meant something, if nothing else to show some level of appreciation for the fans.

Well, fortunately (or more likely unfortunately) such notions of self-respect and pride do not apply to our current roster.  The Clippers played as if the season was already over.  When there were loose balls to be won the team chasing them was the team already up 20+ points.  Ironically, today was fan appreciation day but it appeared to be such in name only.  No one in their right mind would say the team appreciated any of the fans that came out during the deepest recession of our lifetime, cheered a terrible team throughout the year only to see a team allow themselves to be blown out by another lottery bound team by FORTY-ONE points on the last game of the season at home.  The boobirds (including me) starting raining down boos by the end of the first half when we were already down by 20+ points.

As always, the only bright spot on our team was our rookies, Eric Gordon quietly put together yet another efficient offensive performance (10-15 fg for 22 pts total) and Mike Taylor made a half-court shot at the end of the third quarter.  Aside from that the rest of the team was hardly identifiable as NBA players.

The highlight of the evening was Mike Dunleavy getting ejected in the 3rd quarter when we were already getting spanked.   Most of us can only hope the team makes permanent.  Another painful fact is that we lost every quarter of the game by no less than 8 points.  It would take far too much time to layout everything we did poorly tonight and only seconds to describe what we did well but tonight showed that a team that plays with energy and enthusiasm will prevail against a listless team of unprofessional players playing for themselves (or perhaps nothing).

When I asked to write the recap I had hoped that it would be after a Clippers win to close out the season and that karma would dictate that we would get the 1st pick in the draft as a reward for doing the right thing.  I was even foolish enough to bet money to support that fact.  Now with less one Ben Franklin in the wallet, I can only suspect that this franchise and this team (not the faithful fanbase) does not deserve any good that comes to it as they have done nothing to deserve any such reward this season.  I leave you with this quote from Shawshank Redemption that I think succinctly describes our predicament, "Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside".  I don't know how we all landed on the inside but I do agree that this hope thing will eventually drive me insane.

It was a pleasure agonizing over the internet with everyone all season and I hope to see many of you around in what will be my contract year (FA in 2010 baby!) next season.  I'll see some of you at the annual draft party.



Clipper Chuck

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